Rev. Jim Whedbee
Luke 1:46b-55; I Thessalonians 5:16-24
“300 words on one passage” the instructions for writing this devotional said. I reread the instructions “up to 300 words.” Twice it says it.
Oh, well, with about 285 words left, I’m going to “cheat” and comment on two passages. First: Luke 1:45 (“The Message”): “And Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news.” With that in mind, consider the other passage — from I Thessalonians 5:18: “Rejoice always…Give thanks in all circumstances.”
As Judy and I were heading north on Broadway the other day, we read the sign at Central Baptist Church: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” She commented on it; and I said, “Yeah, it doesn’t say FOR all circumstances, just IN all circumstances.” I wanted to change the subject, but she wouldn’t let me. So, I continue to struggle with it. “IN” or “FOR”? What difference does it make IN the middle of the first worldwide pandemic in 100 years? IN the midst of the most difficult political strife in our country that I can remember? IN the midst of racial unrest that must be addressed and remedied? IN the midst of friendships being risked because of differing views on all the above? Of course, I’m always right; but I can’t convince everyone else.
I’m with Mary: I am bursting with God-news! God remains “IN us and “FOR” us through all this. I give thanks that God’s mercies and grace are unleashed on us daily. And it is up to us to discover them and to live them out in faith, hope, and love. The world needs it. I certainly have not given up because, you see, “FOR God so loved the world . . . .” I’m not going to argue with anyone on that. I AM right!
And that’s the good news for today! (Word count: 303 says my computer)